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Freshen up your home for spring

March 31, 2011 at midnight
Updated March 30, 2011 at 10:31 p.m.

Painted cabinets are back in style, and if you want to give your kitchen an update and a  dose of spring freshness, all it takes is a coat of paint in a soft, celery hue.

By Kathryn WeberT.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, but that was more than 100 years ago.

Today, it seems like March holds the sadistic spot on the calendar. Unlike March, by the time April rolls around, trees have leafed out and the grass has turned green.

March, on the other hand, has alternating, and frustrating, bursts of winter and spring that leave you anxious for the cold to leave permanently.

And although there's nothing we can do about Mother Nature's stubborn grip on winter, we can freshen up our homes for the spring that will inevitably come - and help us feel better while we wait.

START IN LIVING ROOM

Take up all the dark-colored throws and pillows, and add a fresh bright spark of color. Feeling ambitious? Remove heavy drapes and replace them with light voile sheers to let the sun in and brighten the room.

Replace candles on the fireplace mantle with vases of brightly-colored flowers or a fresh, green plant. Don't forget to remove the fireplace screen, and if your fireplace is empty, add some accents like a stack of white aspen logs or a lush plant to fill in the dark cavity.

Lighten up the seating area with a sisal rug that harkens to days at the beach.

Cover dark ottomans with a bright throw rug, and replace dark lampshades with light-colored ones to brighten the room.

REFRESH BEDROOMS

With the departure of winter, heavy blankets and down comforters can make their way back into the closet, and lighter spreads and comforters can come out, again.

Consider adding a splash of paint behind the bed. Because it's only one wall, it will go up easily and fast, but make a big impact.

Take heavy accessories off the nightstands and replace with pretty glass objects filled with seashells, sea glass or bright silk flowers.

To give your bedroom that springtime scent, add potpourri with a light fragrance to make the room smell fresh and lighter, too. Add light-colored throw pillows on the bed.

Remove drapes and add a light-colored valance and patterned sheers to bring the sun into your bedroom.

Next, take a tip from four-star hotels and add a spring-inspired foot rug on each side of the bed.

SPRING-TIME KITCHEN

Painted cabinets are back in style and if you want to give your kitchen an update and a dose of spring freshness, all it takes is a coat of paint in a soft, celery hue. Nothing says spring like green colors, and a soft green tint on your cabinets will bring the outdoors in.

Remove as much as possible from the countertops - and the refrigerator door - a notorious clutter magnet.

An uncluttered kitchen feels more spring-like and clean.

To give your kitchen a springy makeover, add one or two bright-colored accessories, such as a vase or covered cake plate with a batch of decorated cookies in springtime shapes of leaves, rabbits or flowers. Hang pretty botanical plates to give a wall a dose of the outdoors. Be sure to add some springtime freshness to your table, too, with napkins and placemats in bright spring colors or that feature leaves or plants. Hang some pretty dish towels and you're all set.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui Ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, www.redlotusletter.com.

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